Stefano Bollani: Joy In Spite Of Everything
Stefano Bollani is an artist of ebullient virtuosity, with uncommon sensitivity and range. The Italian pianist has proved to be at home on ECM improvising solo or leading a trio, as well as engaging in duos with Enrico Rava, Chick Corea and Brazilian bandolim player Hamilton de Holanda. With Joy In Spite Of Everything – an album of new compositions by the pianist for a trans-Atlantic quintet – Bollani has made his most beautifully textured and infectiously lyrical statement yet. He recorded these nine pieces at New York City’s Avatar Studios with the Danish rhythm section from his Stone in the Water trio – bassist Jesper Bodilsen and drummer Morten Lund – plus two prominent American players and ECM intimates: guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Mark Turner. As its title reflects, Joy In Spite Of Everything brims with an indefatigable lightness of spirit despite the inevitable shadows of life.
Louis Sclavis Quintet: Silk And Salt Melodies
Leading French clarinettist-composer-improviser Louis Sclavis continues his musical adventures with Gilles Coronado and Benjamin Moussay, who contributed creatively to his Atlas Trio album Sources in 2011. The addition of Iranian classical percussionist Keyvan Chemirani, master of the zarb, has brought a new dimension to their world of sound. Adventurous contemporary music, says Sclavis, can be broad enough to embrace different but complementary traditions. “‘Silk and Salt’ indicates my desire for this work to take an imaginary, nomadic, Central Asian route, but also to address the idea of emigration in world history. In this case: journeying away from and back to jazz.” Travelling melodies and rhythms predominate. The changing contexts inspire some of Sclavis’s finest clarinet playing, captured by producer Manfred Eicher in this recording, made in Studio La Buissonne, near Avignon, in March 2014.